The Tiger Saga Week 2

By Mercer BaggsDecember 6, 2009, 10:50 pm
Reports surface courtesy, from the proverbial “unnamed sources,' that the Florida Highway Patrol is seeking a warrant to get Tiger Woods’ medical files regarding his car accident. Similar reports also say FHP wants security tapes from Woods’ house at the time of the accident. FHP officials deny the stories.

Backspin'Celebrity Witch Hunt' would be an awesome reality show. Of course, maybe this isn't a witch hunt. Maybe there is reason to investigate. Unfortuantely for Woods, it's not the golf media who is going to be digging through his closet; it's outlets like TMZ.

John Daly, playing in the Australian Open, first says what happened to Woods is no one’s business. The following day he backpedals, saying Woods should come clean about the crash details.

BackspinThere’s a guy at CVS who sits in the back of the parking lot and talks to a shopping cart. I’d just as soon get domestic advice from him as from Daly.

As first reported on GolfChannel and, Woods announces that he will not compete in his own Chevron World Challenge. He says doctors have advised him not to travel to California for the tournament that benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.

Backspin Andrea Bocelli saw this one coming. If Woods isn’t talking to the police, then he’s definitely not addressing the media. But don’t hide behind a white coat. If you could win the U.S. Open on one leg, you could play a charity event – one that benefits your charity – with a few cuts and bruises. Just say now is the time for family, not golf – everybody gets that.

A lawyer for the neighbors who phoned in the 911 call says Woods’ injuries were consistent with a car accident and not domestic violence.

Backspin Is there anyone in this soap opera who hasn't lawyer-ed up? If anyone is offended by my commentary, please contact my attorney, Mr. Lionel Hutz.

Florida Highway Patrol, as first reported by, cites Woods with careless driving, which carries a fine up to $164 and a dock of four points on his license. They say they will not pursue criminal charges, that there was insufficient evidence for a subpoena to seek medical records relating to the crash, and that their investigation is over.

BackspinSo Tiger’s “Nightmare on Deacon Court” comes to an end. Or does it? Don’t all big money-makers have sequels? Especially the horror flicks. This is a cash cow for the tabloids. They aren’t going to let this thing die. Woods is dealing with people who have the soul of a Kraken.

Woods releases another statement on his Web site apologizing for his “transgressions” and says he let his family down. The statement comes in the wake of a recorded voice mail released by alleged Woods mistress Jamie Grubbs in which a voice implores a woman to take her name off her cell phone because his wife might be calling her.

BackspinWoods' statement was much more admonishment than contrition. It was two paragraphs mea culpa, three paragraphs you-a culpa. It's obvious that Woods is trying to contain this wildfire. He just doesn't realize that it has already spread beyond his control.

While Woods’ corporate sponsors offer their support, Jesper Parnevik, the man who introduced Elin [his former nanny] to Tiger, says he wishes he had never done so. “He lost all my respect,” Parnevik said.

Backspin “You don't care about anything except you. You just want to persuade people that you love 'em so much that they ought to love you back. Only you want love on your own terms. Something to be played your way, according to your rules.” – Jedediah Leland.

A lawyer for Rachel Uchitel, who had previously denied a relationship with Woods, cancels a scheduled news conference. It was rumored that Uchitel was going to admit to the affair.

BackspinGloria Allred canceling a press conference for “unforeseen circumstances?” Did Uchitel get paid off [as Allred’s daughter claims]? Did she keep her silence to protect Woods and any other people involved with him [as Uchitel claims]? I could sooner buy back time as to buy any nobility in this saga.

It is reported that Tiger and Elin have entered “intense martial counseling.” Meanwhile, experts and specialists are chiming in across every medium offering their opinions on how Woods has handled the situation, what it means to his reputation, his future earnings, his quest to win 19 majors, his legacy, etc., etc., etc.

Backspin How about Elin? Sam? Charlie? The pain, the humiliation, the intrusion – the fact that Elin can never again trust anyone inside Tiger’s secretive inner circle. A sinful man such as myself will not cast stones on Tiger, but I’m not overly concerned about him. Still, everyone needs prayer.

So what else is there: Just an apparent email, from Woods' buddy and business partner Byron Bell, sent to Uchitel with flight plans to Australia; a purported prenuptial alteration that would significantly enhance Elin’s net worth; multiple mockings on 'SNL'; a possible cover up involving a magazine feature Woods did; at least four more possible mistresses. Those are just the things that have surfaced in a wasteland too murky to tell fact from fiction. What’s next? John Waters couldn't begin to write a script. How did we get here? That one is easy to answer.

Backspin“There's only one person in the world who decides what I'm going to do, and that's me.” – Charles Foster Kane.
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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”